(Warning: Spoilers ahead for Season 9, Episode 3 of “The Walking Dead,” titled “Warning Signs”)
In Sunday night’s episode of “The Walking Dead,” we finally found out who’s been sniping Saviors: Oceanside members whose loved ones were killed by the formerly Negan-run group. In the final scene, Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) discover Cyndie (Sydney Park) and other Oceanside residents about to execute Arat (Elizabeth Ludlow), who killed her 11-year-old brother before the war.
Arat begs Maggie and Daryl to intervene, but the two end up walking away, and she’s killed. The scene seems to mark a boiling-over point: Rick has been trying to get all the communities to live peacefully with one another, but there’s still too much history for that to be a realistic goal. The episode ends ominously, with Maggie telling Daryl: “We gave Rick’s way a chance. It’s time to see Negan.”
Reedus told TheWrap that their decision to turn away from the execution has to do with empowering people to make their own decisions — in part because Maggie and Daryl aren’t feeling empowered themselves, at this point.
“If you’re going to run your area, you need to make decisions,” Reedus said. “They wouldn’t have… not intervened if they didn’t think that that group had the right intentions.”
“Both those characters have been in this world long enough where you can only follow someone so long when you don’t agree with what they’re doing,” Reedus said, referring to the two characters’ disagreements with Rick. “[Rick] is sort of blinded by grief and all these other things, and he has to make this work and for all these reasons but he’s not really listening to the people around him anymore.”
“A lot of the stuff with Daryl is he just, he is like, dude you’re not hearing me. Like you’re not listening to me,” Reedus said of Daryl’s conflicts with Rick. He added that the seeds of those conflicts between Daryl and Rick were planted in the Season 8 finale.
“And at the end of last season, that very last scene that we shot, it looks like Jesus, Maggie and Daryl are going to turn on Rick — I wasn’t in that scene [at first],” Reedus said. “Maybe an hour before that, they’re, ‘we want to put you in this scene.’ And I was, ‘what are you talking about? I can’t go against Rick. What are you talking about?’ And they were, ‘trust us, it’ll play out later.’ And I was, ‘wait, wait, what?’ So I spent my whole hiatus thinking, ‘oh my god, I’m going to kill Rick, or he’s going to kill me.”
“The Walking Dead” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.